Farewell Ella Bella Showmax

The best African content coming to Showmax, June – October 2019

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Nommer37, Die Byl S2, Kanarie, Stroomop, Ellen, Liyana, Stroop & more are coming to Showmax. Download or stream the below content online. Showmax is an online subscription video on demand service in South Africa.

ALSO READ: Upcoming Movies at Ster-Kinekor this June 2019

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Randal Hendricks (Irshaad Ally) is a recent paraplegic, trapped in his apartment. After being given binoculars by his devoted girlfriend, Pam (Monique Rockman), he witnesses a powerful criminal, Lawyer (David Manuel), commit murder. In debt to Emmie (Danny Ross), a sadistic loan shark, Randal initiates a treacherous blackmail scheme…

A homage to the Hitchcock classic Rear Window, Nommer 37 was the only African movie in competition at SXSW last year and went on to win Best Director at Fantasia and Best Editor at the SAFTAs, among other accolades.

A New York Times’ Critics Pick, Nommer 37 was hailed as “a gripping, well-constructed thriller” by The Los Angeles Times, as “richly satisfying… a singularly crafty and strikingly well-crafted thriller that signals the arrival of a promising filmmaking talent” by Variety, and as “exhilarating” and “heart-stopping” by Shadow & Act.

Director Nosipho Dumisa is currently working on Netflix’s second African original series, Blood & Water.

Exclusive to Showmax for six months, 15 July 2019

Waldemar Schultz (7de Laan) and Lika Berning (Liefling) won the Huisgenoot Tempo Awards for Best Actor and Best Actress in 2017 for their roles in the first season of Die Byl as colonel Piet van Bijl and Captain Lena Evans. Loosely based on the real life South African super detective Piet Byleveld, who passed away in 2017, van Bijl is a brilliant detective who specialises in serial killers – and a workaholic who will do anything for those closest to him.

In Season 2, which is set five years later, van Bijl’s relationship with Advocate Nicky van As (Milan Murray from Waterfront) is on the rocks, while Evans is now married and mother to a young son.

The nail-biting crime series is being produced by Marche Media (Kanarie, Johnny Is Nie Dood Nie) and features guest appearances from the likes of SAFTA winners Denise Newman (Shirley Adams), Jody Abrahams (Hard Copy), and Marius Weyers (The Gods Must Be Crazy).


First on Showmax, 1 August 2019

Two-time Comics’ Choice winner Schalk Bezuidenhout, who also won a SAFTA for his supporting role in the kykNET comedy Hotel, stars in Kanarie as a small town boy during Apartheid who is chosen to serve his compulsory two-year military training in the South African Defence Force choir, where he discovers his true self through hardship, camaraderie, first love, and the liberating freedom of music.

Directed by Christiaan Olwagen (Johnny Is Nie Dood Nie), Kanarie won the 2019 SAFTA for Best Script and five 2018 Silwerskermfees Awards, including Best Film and Best Director.

Indiewire named Kanarie one of the 14 Best LGBTQ International Films of 2018, while The Los Angeles Times praised it as a “rich, poignant and finely observed musical-drama” and The Hollywood Reporter as “a winning combination of thoughtfulness and exuberance.”

Due 12 August 2019

In a desperate effort to find healing, five women in a self-help group find themselves on the Orange River on adventure therapy. What’s the worst that can happen?

Ivan Botha’s directorial debut, starring his wife DonnaLee Roberts (Pad Na Jou Hart, Vir Altyd), Stroomop was the second most popular local film at the South African box office in 2018.

The adventure story also won Best Feature Film at WorldFest Houston 2019 and SAFTA awards for Best Supporting Actress (Ilse Klink from Isidingo) and Best Makeup and Hairstyling (Minuche Bridgette Snyman).

First on Showmax, 15 August 2019

Liyana is a genre-defying documentary that tells the story of five children in the Kingdom of Eswatini who, with some guidance from South African storyteller Gcina Mhlope, turn past trauma into an original fable about a girl named Liyana, who embarks on a perilous quest to save her young twin brothers. The film weaves her animated journey together with poetic documentary scenes to create an inspiring tale of perseverance and hope.

Winner of 35 awards, Liyana is the directorial debut of Swaziland-born and raised Aaron Kopp, who shot the Oscar-winning documentary Saving Face and the Oscar-nominated The Hunting Ground. It’s executive produced by Emmy winner Thandie Newton (Westworld), produced by Oscar winner Daniel Junge (Saving Face), and edited by Davis Coombe (Chasing Coral, Chasing Ice). Nigerian Shofela Coker created the stunning animated artwork, while South African Philip Miller composed the score.

Entertainment Weekly hailed it as “Gorgeous. Unlike any documentary you’ve ever seen,” while The Hollywood Reporter praised it as “A lyrical work, as bright and captivating as it is poignant.”

Same time as M-Net, 24 August 2019

In 2007, the death of 20-year-old Abie Pakkies created a stir in South Africa and the world. The most disturbing part of the case was that the murderer was his mother, Ellen.

Based on that disturbing true story, Ellen was the third most popular local film at the South African box office in 2018, despite its harrowing storyline about a mother’s unflinching love for her drug-addicted son.

As Abie and Ellen, Jarrid Geduld and Jill Levenberg won both the SAFTA and Silwerskermfees awards for Best Actor and Best Actress respectively. Ellen also won Best Director (Daryn Joshua from Noem My Skollie) and Best Score (Quinn Lubbe) at the SAFTAs, as well as Best Script (Amy Jephta) at Silwerskermfees.

Due on World Rhino Day, 22 September 2019

Two first-time filmmakers, award-winning editor Susan Scott (The Last Lions) and 50/50 presenter Bonné de Bod, explore the war for rhino horn. Initially setting out on a six-month project, the duo leave their jobs, sell their homes, and even move in with their mothers as they quickly find themselves immersed in a world far larger and more dangerous than they had imagined, only emerging from their odyssey across Africa and Asia four years later, with a gripping wildlife crime thriller documentary that’s won 18 international awards, including Best of Festival at The International Wildlife Film Festival, arguably the top wildlife festival in the world.

“The tell-all film.” Daily Mail

“This film will change things.” Africa Geographic

Image Courtesy: Channel24.co.za

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